IMF Book Forum

In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India

Friday, May 11, 2007
3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
HQ1, Room 2-530
International Monetary Fund
700 19th Street NW, Washington, D.C.

Featuring: Edward Luce (Financial Times)

Discussant: Arvind Subramanian (Center for Global Development & Peterson Institute)

Moderated by Kalpana Kochhar (Senior Advisor, APD)

India is poised to become the world's third largest economy within a generation. In Spite of the Gods by Edward Luce, a journalist who covered India for many years, makes brilliant sense of India and its rise to global power in a book deeply informed by scholarship and history. Amartya Sen says the book "is not only fun to read, it is also a deeply insightful account of contemporary India. Based on the author's rare combination of intimacy and detachment, the book can serve, remarkably enough, both as a fine introduction for unacquainted outsiders and as a mature scrutiny that is bound to stimulate insiders." The Economist calls it "a perceptive, witty and readable book that will for some time be the definitive generalist's account of the country's recent political, economic and social development, and of its future prospects." And The Washington Post says that "Luce clearly loves the country he writes about -- an essential attribute for a book like this -- but he is tough-minded as well, and his judgment is invariably sound. `In India,' a colleague once told Luce, `things are never as good or as bad as they seem. If you want to understand how that might be, read his wonderful book.'"


EDWARD LUCE is the Washington bureau chief for the Financial Times. He was the paper's South Asia bureau chief, based in New Delhi, between 2001 and 2006. From 1999-2000, Luce worked in the Clinton administration as the speechwriter to Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. Educated at Oxford and married into an Indian family, Luce now lives in Washington, D.C.

ARVIND SUBRAMANIAN is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development with a joint appointment at Peterson Institute for International Economics. He is on leave from the International Monetary Fund, where he was Assistant Director in the Research Department. Previously, he worked at the GATT (1988-1992) during the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations, and taught at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government (1999-2000). In his career at the Fund, he has worked on development, Africa, India, trade, and the Middle East.

An RSVP is required: or (202) 623 9430.  

Guests should present a photo identification and use the IMF Center entrance at 720 19th St. N.W. Washington DC (at the white tent). Only IMF/World Bank staff should enter through the main 700 19th St. entrance.


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